17th Barbecue is opening a barbecue sauce facility in downtown Murphysboro.  I don't know all of the plans other than what's made headlines recently. Miranda and I were just talking about it this morning. I wouldn't say we're in the middle of a complete renaissance on Walnut Street, but it's hard to deny signs of momentum. And it's due largely to the persistence and sweat equity of people like Amy and Mike Mills and their payroll. A couple of caveats before saying anything more:

1.) I don't know Amy and I don't know Mike. I do know their BBQ well and  am a fan of it, just like I am a fan of Pat's BBQ and Southern Que here in Murphysboro. I eat BBQ once or twice a week, which is too much, obviously. If I was a couple inches shorter I would literally be a circle. Thanks in no small part to Murphysboro's pork situation. God bless Pat Burke, Mike Mills and all the otherrs. But, this brings me to my next point.

2.) As a rule, we can be reluctant to give specific praise because we do not want to commit a sin of omission. Sometimes, we may withhold specific praise or thanks because it will be be read negatively--as a short-selling others of others. Those not mentioned. This is dumb, because recognition isn't a zero sum game. Silly people can't understand this. Which brings me to my next point.

17th ST's new undertaking is a 1.25 million dollar project. It's putting this project inside of Illinois. The state of Illinois is a trash fire. That notwithstanding, 17 ST's project is not only putting money back into our region and jobs back in our town; it's adding gravity back to our street.

If your very first impulse to this kind of news has anything to do with the cut of anyone else's jib, and how such and such's food or such and such's business was better once upon a time, you're missing the point. I wanted to say that you're a moron because I don't know how to put it more eloquently, but Miranda advised against it. But, in all, I'm tired of dumb shit responses like that as a reflex to someone else's positive contributions. I'm not saying people are wrong for having opinions about taste because taste is a subjective thing. But economies are not. I care about one more than I do the other because only one of them actually matters.

So, thanks, 17ST, for your time, work and investment. I appreciate the hustle.